06 Feb 2014
This is Deadspin's attempt to not only create a comprehensive list of African-American quarterbacks in the NFL, but to give them each a biography, ranging from one or two sentences about guys who washed out quickly to long, detailed discussion of men like Fritz Pollard, Michael Vick, and Steve McNair. They literally had to have the Gawker technical people raise the character limit for a post to make this thing publishable. From a personal perspective, you'll find some discussion of how Football Outsiders dubbed Russell Wilson "The Asterisk" as well as an excerpt from a piece I wrote about Byron Leftwich for The New Republic all the way back in 2004.
One interesting point that is sort of insinuated but not stated in here: Can you imagine if JaMarcus Russell had been one of the first couple of black guys given an opportunity to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and had sucked that badly? Oh my, it would be like a racist holiday. It would have set back African-American football players 10 or 15 years. Luckily, by the time Russell came in and stunk up the joint, nobody used him as evidence black guys couldn't play quarterback. We just used him as evidence that fat guys couldn't play quarterback -- except for Jared Lorenzen, apparently, who has magic powers.
34 comments, Last at 12 Feb 2014, 10:50am by Kevin from Philly
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?